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Captivity

Year: 2007
Production Co: Captivity Productions
Director: Roland Joffee
Writer: Larry Cohen/Joshua Tura
Cast: Elisha Cuthbert, Daniel Gillies, Pruitt Taylor Vince

Another entry into the torture porn movement, and while it was mostly dismissed as not being as good as the others lets face it, we're not talking about a Shakespearian genre here. Captivity is as good as any, which is to say it takes huge liberties with plotting and feasibility while making you want to throw up with slick production that looks (for want of a better word) great.

There's also an emotional engagement because as Eli Roth (one of the godfathers of the movement) said, any time the victim is female there's a sexual element. And to watch the absolutely ravishing Elisha Cuthbert in peril is emotional indeed.

Cuthbert plays a model with limited backstory apart from being tired of the demands on her life while lamenting the lack of love in it when a psychopath who's been stalking her snatches her from a nightclub. He drags her unconscious to a Saw -like basement complete with clanking machinery, dank metallic walls and the stench of blood. There's even a TV to replay past tortures and show what she's in for.

When she discovers she's not alone she starts to work with the young man (Gillies) to try and escape, drawing closer to him in every way and leading to what Internet chatter has dubbed the most unrealistic aspect of the film. I have to agree - having sex with a guy in such a place after you've had a milkshake of eyes, eras and blood poured down your throat, been buried in a tank of sand and the blood and gore of various bouts of torture is still strewn around is indeed a stretch. I mean, I'd do it if it was Elisha Cuthbert, but I'll bet she wouldn't.

You'll also see the twist coming a mile off, but the most interesting things about this film aren't even in it. Distributor Lionsgate tried shock tactics by putting some very controversial billboards up around LA that provoked outrage and got the film the publicity that amounted to the only attention it received. The company claimed later to have no knowledge of the campaign before it launched, and if you believe that I have a bridge in New York you might be interested in buying.

The second interesting thing is that your eyes aren't deceiving you, the director is indeed Roland Joffee - the man behind one of cinema's most searing political thrillers in The Mission.

But neither Joffee's name nor the advertising tactics worked, the movie bombing completely.

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